When my husband and I started The Austinot in our living room at the end of 2011, we had no idea what it would become. The last thing I expected is that I’d be celebrating 1,000 articles after three and a half years, written by an extraordinary collection of volunteer Austinites who caught our vision.
Our vision took time to develop. Like I said, I had no idea what The Austinot would become. Despite our online marketing background, The Austinot started out as more of a personal hobby blog. We published silly articles we never would now, like this one. Even the name of our blog was chosen on a whim, using an online name generator called Wordoid. Yes, Austinot is a play on “astronaut” because we’re exploring the city. But then, why didn’t we spell it Austinaut? (Answer: because I thought it looked dumb.) Then, of course, the -not in our name implies negativity, which is the opposite of what we’re about.
By the time we realized our name-picking ineptitude, The Austinot was too big to rebrand. So roll with it.
What Makes The Austinot Special
It didn’t take long for us to decide how we wanted to differentiate ourselves from other blogs about Austin. We decided we would be hyperlocal, meaning we would only write about businesses, organizations, artists and events that were originally founded here in Austin, and continue to be based here. Chains and franchises don’t qualify, even if they’re awesome.
To be honest, we’ve had to turn away a ton of cool stories and genuine people because of our focus. We’ve also lost sponsorship dollars because the same qualification applies: sponsors have to be hyperlocal.
But we’ve retained our integrity. And the time we could’ve spent writing about Trader Joe’s was invested in writing about an obscure non-profit that has never received any press, despite their tireless efforts to make the Austin community better. The gratification we’ve received for staying hyperlocal is endless, and we like to think our readers appreciate it, too.
The Austinot Is a Family
We have two types of writers at The Austinot. Guest writers submit articles as life allows, with little structure and no long-term commitment. In contrast, our Contributing Bloggers commit to two articles every month, and they represent The Austinot at countless events around the city. Our blog would not exist today without these volunteer Contributing Bloggers, the Austinot family.
We’ve grown to a dozen Contributing Bloggers, one of whom became our first junior editor this summer. May I reiterate that all of them are volunteers? They stick with The Austinot because they care about Austin and want to contribute to its positive growth. They are some of the most interesting, accomplished and kind people you’ll ever meet. I owe each one a debt for enabling The Austinot to grow dramatically, while protecting our reputation in Austin.
Thank You to Our Readers
Thank you to our readers. You really don’t know how important you are.
Because of you, we can tell our sponsors that we’re now averaging approximately 150,000 pageviews a month, and counting. Because our sponsors see value in that reach and influence, The Austinot’s overhead costs can be paid. Your interactions on social media help, too. Every Facebook share matters; every Instagram follower counts.
Your impact doesn’t end with us. Every time you learn about an awesome local business on The Austinot, and then go out and patronize that business, you’re part of preserving the Austin we all love.
So keep up the good work, dear readers. Here’s to another 1,000 articles.
Keep Reading and Stay in Touch
- If you want to learn more about The Austinot’s history, purpose and Contributing Blogger team, visit our About page.
- Learn about how you can write for The Austinot.
- Enable us to keep sharing the best of Austin by sponsoring our blog.
- Sign up for our email newsletter, which goes out every other week and always has an awesome local giveaway.
@theAustinot wants to know:
What would you like to see us do with our next 1,000 articles?